The Roaring Twenties-Sixties

This exhibition tin the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam tells the story of the two most tempestuous decades in the history of twentieth century art – the Twenties and the Sixties – and of a shift in global cultural power relations.During the Twenties the avant-garde still operated almost exclusively in Europe. Paris remained the epicentre of artistic innovation that it had always been thanks to the late Cubism of Picasso and Surrealism. But Germany and the Netherlands, too, saw the flourishing of a radically new concept of art spearheaded by the Bauhaus and De Stijl movements, among others. And much further to the East, in Moscow and Leningrad, revolutionary new movements emerged that became known as Russian Constructivism. Picasso, Mondriaan, Van Doesburg, Schwitters and Malevich were among the key representatives of the avant-garde of this period. Forty years later key developments within the avant-garde also emerged in the United States, particularly in New York and Los Angeles. The land of unlimited opportunities gave birth to pop art, minimal art and conceptual art, with artists such as Warhol, Andre and Nauman. In western Europe, Paris remained an important centre with representatives of the nouveau réalisme, while cities such as Düsseldorf, Cologne and Amsterdam came to the fore.